International insolvency law and Australia’s UNCCA

A newly qualified Australian lawyer who was sponsored through UNCCA and LAWASIA to attend Insolvency Working Group V in Vienna in December 2018, is pursuing further research in international law in the Netherlands. I was very pleased to have been invited to the admission as an Australian lawyer of my colleague Samantha Pacchiarotta in the […]

Views of former High Court judges, on reasoned [sic] government decision making

Here are two rather politically telling comments of former Australian High Court judges from which we may each make our own assessment about how this lucky country is governed, and by whom. Mr Kenneth Hayne – “Trust in all sorts of institutions, governmental and private, has been damaged or destroyed”; and Mr Ian Callinan – […]

NSW Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation Conference 2019

I am presenting to senior lawyers at the NSW Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation Conference 2019 on 9-10 August, in the Business Law component. The topic is, simply, current issues in personal and corporate insolvency. The focus and content is different when the audience comprises lawyers, rather than insolvency practitioners (IPs). Lawyers have a range of […]

Choosing courts in cross-border insolvency applications

As a federation, Australia has a mix of state and territory and federal courts, each with their own jurisdictions. Jurisdiction is however shared between courts in corporations matters, including those concerning the insolvency of companies under Ch 5 of the Australian Corporations Act 2001. Litigants have a choice of the Federal Court or the State […]

Cafés and restaurants – at a tipping point, in 2018, and now?

In light of current (July 2019) reports about restaurants’ tax [non] compliance, my article of a year ago, 15 July 2018, is re-issued.   The Fair Work Ombudsman’s food precincts report[1] – finding that enterprises in three selected foodie streets in Sydney and Melbourne were non-compliant in paying wages to employees, and more, to a […]

Australian insolvency law – current reforms

As in many countries, general elections put law changes and reform on hold pending the new government’s decisions on pending law. The government was returned in Australia at the recent May election and this is a convenient time to review where Australian insolvency law reform is at the moment, or as much can be anticipated. […]

“Shortcomings of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (just some)”

Professor Martin Davies of Tulane Maritime Law Center recently offered a critique of the Model Law on Cross Border Insolvency at a presentation at Sydney University Law School. As he said: “shortcomings of the Model Law (just some)”. Limitation on recognition of foreign judgments An early problem with the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency was […]

NZ’s 2019 Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act and its cross-Tasman impact

NZ’s Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act is due to commence over the next year introducing a licensing and regulatory regime for insolvency practitioners (IPs) under a co-regulatory arrangement similar to that introduced in the UK in 1986. While many relevant details are yet to be developed, some initial thoughts are offered in relation to Australian IPs […]

How to become an insolvency practitioner in Australia

The ‘new’ process of selecting by interview who should be an insolvency practitioner (IP) was the subject of a presentation by ASIC at the recent AIIP conference,[1] confined to the selection of company liquidators. The process may have been new to ASIC and the corporate practitioners, but it in fact goes back several decades for […]

Bankrupt trustees coming before the High Court

While the focus of the High Court’s trust law decision in Carter Holt[1] is in the context of corporate insolvency, many of the principles applied came from the law of bankruptcy. As the High Court pointed out, property held on trust by a bankrupt is specifically excluded as divisible property, under s 116(2) Bankruptcy Act; […]